Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We just learned that some of our students are being forced to leave our facility because we are on probation with licensing. I will be happy to share any of those details with anyone because we self-reported our own mistake.
These specific children are being removed because they are minor subjects whose guardians are involved in a Child Protective Services investigation. So, not only have these children lost their parents, their homes, siblings, and other consistencies, they are losing long-term caretakers.
Please lift up Wesley Community Center, its staff, and the people we serve in prayer as we continue to face these hardships.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I listen to air1 99.5% of the time, and this morning was no exception. As I drove closer to work, Little Drummer Boy began to play. I've heard this song an uncountable number of times in my life span. Never before have I had an experience to the song like this morning.
I am a poor boy too, stirred my heart and my emotions. The tears fell from my eyes and still demand their presence be known even now. Why?!
I have no gift to bring,
That's fit to give the King,
Shall I play for you on my drum?
Because God is speaking to me. He is saying, you have no gift but the gifts I give you. Use your gifts for Me. If you can play, play for Me. If you can build, build for Me. If you can write, write for Me. If you can love, love for Me.
This is an electric guitar instrumental of the song, but I loved it. Please enjoy.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
With that said, I can't help but wonder why I keep seeing so much hatred from people when it comes to the "Occupy" movement, the homeless population, or talks regarding low income populations "being lazy, addicted to drugs, or having more kids to get more benefits." \
I got to share Kristin's work over at Ponderings.
I still think its such an important work, putting faces to the stories. That is the best weapon against judgement. When we humanize a situation rather than objectify them.
I must confess this was not my reaction when I first read the judgmental statement earlier today. I was angry and soon formulated my own judgements about this person. I went to God's word to help me find the right argument because this person speaks bible, if you know what I mean...
I googled, "verses about helping the poor" and found many! I ope you go and see if something speaks to your heart!
This is what spoke to mine:
Isaiah 58:3-12 from The Message:
They're busy, busy, busy at worship,
and love studying all about me.
To all appearances they're a nation of right-living people—
They ask me, 'What's the right thing to do?'
and love having me on their side.
But they also complain,
'Why do we fast and you don't look our way?
Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?'
3-5"Well, here's why:
"The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit.
You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
won't get your prayers off the ground.
Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after:
a day to show off humility?
To put on a pious long face
and parade around solemnly in black?
Do you call that fasting,
a fast day that I, God, would like?
6-9"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
I love other translations, but I din't want a novel. I did not confront this person, but instead, I came here to write.
Make in me a spirit of thanksgiving. Allow me to be a cheerful giver, confidently knowing that its You that provide sustenance for all my needs. You help me to care for my children and the people that I work with. Help my arms to reach even further in the community. Pour all that anger in a direction that gives You glory. I know that Your heart breaks when Your people are not cared for or taken advantage of, so please work through me and those around me. Empower those that want to do Your work. We are not perfect, but we are willing, and I know that is all it takes to find favor in Your eye. Again, You give us a spirit of LOVE, SELF-DISCIPLINE, and POWER. Thank You for loving us and moving us in a way that brings You glory.
In Jesus Name,
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Beloved, rise up in faith to know that no weapon formed against you will prosper. It doesn't matter what the enemy brings against you, you belong to Me. You will have to take a stand and resist his maneuvers, but I have already given you the power to defeat him soundly. Refuse to allow his tactics to overwhelm you or bring discouragement. It is My will that you obtain and maintain the victory, says the Lord.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.
God is still speaking to me and firing away the impurities.
You bless a humble heart, but I know my heart wouldn't be humbled without You either. These times are hard, but it would be nothing but devastation without You. Once again, there are people that I want to see hurt because they inflicted hurt on me. But Your love is greater than those negative thoughts. Your love increases my love, extending genuine sincerity to even those my flesh less than desires. Stress is the enemy first on the list. You have empowered me with a grateful spirit. Allow me to continue in the spirit of thanksgiving even after turkey days are over. Allow me to continue in the passions you have laid on my heart.
In Jesus Name,
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Everything that I heard was good. Except one thing. One thing that I can't figure out if I needed my toes stepped on or if it was another tactic from the enemy to distract me. An attempt to get me to doubt.
I can't remember which station I was on or even the preacher's name. (I'm not that good with names.) He was talking about choices that we make have consequences, good or bad. I agreed with all that he said about consequences, but then he called to "young ladies":
"If you have sex outside of marriage and find yourself a single mother, this is not God's will. This is a result of your stupidity."
Me and God have had many talks about my choices concerning the situation surrounding my son. I consider that boy a gift from God. He will officially be 16 months old on Tuesday. I know that my precious actions that led to conception were not what God had willed for me, but He gave me a baby... a life. If this life was not in His will, then why would He give him to me? Beauty for pain, right?
I know that the hurts I still feel today about the demise of the relationship are part of the consequences, yet I know I am forgiven. I am a stubborn child, so I know allowing God to align me to His will has been a slow process. I feel like it was the process that the enemy questioned, instigating my own questioning and feeding doubt. I've especially tried to behave as a child of God in the midst of this situation. I don't want to fight or stir up unnecessary strife.
This weekend was especially hard to hear this statement because me and the father are disagreeing again. It started Friday morning with him telling me what I was going to do for Thanksgiving... better yet, it was him telling me where my son was going to be. I am always excluded from anything family oriented, which is understandable. I get it. But don't tell me what I am going to do and not expect a rebuttal. After I stood up for myself (within the confines of our court order), he moved on to Christmas. Again, I stood my ground. Then, he started griping about the order itself and how much he didn't like it. This is the part where I may have let more emotion control my words, but without cussing, I reminded him that it was him that initiated the court processes that dealt the cards we were given. I stood up for myself. He used the "me being bitter about him not wanting to be with me" argument one too many times.
In the last leg of this journey, I have focused on "letting it go" and "God is enough" to actually heal some of my hearts wounds from this brokenness. In response to the above mentioned argument, I said, "You will never be able to give me what I need because you don't have what I need, and even if you did have it, you wouldn't give it. As much as it hurts, my eyes are open to that, and it makes letting you go easier. I am not angry about it anymore. I'm a little sad, but I am happier also because now I can focus on the something good that is to come. You cannot coerce me into getting your way anymore."
Later that day, I finally received trustworthy legal council. It was the first time in a year that I had someone genuinely interested in representing my voice. I also knew that I had started a new war by standing up for myself. We fought all weekend.
He had another 4 hour visitation today. I thought about what the preacher said as I waited for my son's father to arrive. I thought about it the entire time my son was gone. Obviously, I'm still chewing on this thought tonight.
I've also been doubting myself and my decisions the last few days. Am I being unreasonable? Am I simply picking a fight? I have been really nice, right? I've given above and beyond my obligations according to the order, right? Will any of that count for anything?
I said these doubts out loud of the weekend, sometimes receiving positive answers through friends. At one point, I asked God, "So what do I do now?" Keep praying. "Ok, so what do I pray for? I figured I had prayed enough for this." Just keep praying, Kendra "Okay."
So, I ran through my mind of all the things I would pray for when it came to his dad. I noticed that a good 80% of the themes had to do with us getting back together. The other 20% were a range of him having an easy and smooth time to draw him to You, Lord. So, the latter is where I am trying to stay. I'm asking that all eyes be opened and all sheep be brought back to the fold.
It is hard, but the peace in my heart seems worth it.
I also quit smoking cigarettes this week. Am I surprised by all the drama? Nooooooooo!!! ;)
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Stuck, where, how, like my days
are still, not driving full speed ahead
as if they're not numberless
How many will I waste?
Reminiscing of days gone,
never realizing that my back
is toward my future.
Asking why this and that...
Why couldn't things go the way
I wanted them. As if I'm in
control of others. I'm only in
control of myself, and I get so distracted by the lives of
others that I let myself derail.
Of course, only One knows. Only
He can see in my mind, heart, soul.
The healing begins today. My future
begins when He turns me back around
and says, "Follow Me." Take His lead.
Beauty is vain, and favor is deceitful, but a woman who feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
This is how I found it... well, what I saw first, if you will.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
My sacrifice, oh God, is a broken spirit; a broken and humbled heart you, God, will not despise.
I was introduced to Lisa Buffalo's Blog by a fellow blogging sister. Tracy, I'm still very blessed you instigated that introduction. The post, dated Aug. 20th asked the question: Is God enough?
When I first read, I knew the instant I was asked that God had not been enough for me. Not that He didn't want to be, but I had gotten really good at putting limits on Him. I still am on occasion.
So, I began to make changes that ensured God was enough. I chant it daily when Satan shows up along with other verses that instantaneously pop from my subconscious at just the right moment. (We all know that is really God pulling from what He has written on my heart.)
This morning, I stumbled across a post from Tracy asking, What are you facing today?
Well, its been a lot. I only thought I was under fire when just a few aspects of my life were under attack, but now, the war is everywhere I turn. Satan has attacked every part of my life, and I sit in ash and rubble. I'm dirty, confused, broken, betrayed, tear-stained, and weak while the enemy waits around for me to give up, taunting me with every lie my mind ever entertained.
My ability to counsel children has come into question. There is a future risk assessment. My bosses are backing me (another God thing), but it is ultimately lisencing's decision.
My mother is going after the inheritance left by my father's parents. He owed her child support, and it was in the works while he was alive, which I supported; however, now that he too has died, the Attorney General was ready to drop the case and let the inheritance go to the children. My mom does not agree with this decision and decided to pursue without our (the children's) knowledge. She told me, "I was going to talk to you, but well, you live there and your sister lives even further, so I knew that would never happen. Plus, the money has technically already been spent on what it took for me and your dad (my step dad) to raise you. Don't be mad."
Wow, I didn't know that parents were compensated when they dished out funds and provided for the children they created.
You see, I receive child support. I am so very thankful for the help that I get, but I've always had a different vision of what that would look like when God finally got me through school and into my career field. I set up savings accounts for the children, and the day I can provide for them through my income alone is the day their child support checks are only deposited into their accounts for their future...
This all happened Thursday of last week. Saturday, I drove an hour and a half to my sister's house. She has 4 kids. Two girls, 8 and 7, and 11 month old twins, a boy and girl. The babies didn't have clothes/jackets for the winter, and my sister has no extra funds, so that's what I did. I guess you can say I played momma to her again. I'm the oldest, and as much as she fights me on most things, she lets me play momma when our momma won't. I spent the night.
This morning, I didn't make it to church, and I did not have either of my bibles with me, so I searched my blogs and other internet sources for His word. Something that would help make sense of what has been happening or strengthen my armor. I was uplifted enough to contact my boss. She is a believer, and she listens when I say we are under spiritual attacks. We must be doing something great as we impact lives because Satan would not be as busy around us if we weren't. I told her, "I've been thinking a lot about divine placement, and I am reminded that God goes to battle for us. He is the victor."
I spent some time reflecting on another devotional received last week about encouragement. That Barnabas was named such because of his uplifting and encouraging encounters he had with people. I wanted to be like that, so this is what I spent most of the day doing. Until my son's dad dropped him off.
I was so proud of myself because I hadn't been dwelling on this situation. It would come to mind, and I would quickly dismiss thoughts, knowing that God has a plan in all this. When he dropped him off to me, he had his girlfriend in the truck with him for the first time. My heart hit the ground while the Holy Spirit guided a nonreactive reaction from me. I didn't say a word, or at least any unnecessary words. I didn't freak out on the outside. I didn't cry. I didn't cuss or scream... or at least in that moment. Not until they drove away and my son was being distracted by other children did I go outside to recover my heart and react.
I made it through the rest of practice, picked up my daughter from her dad's, and we came home. The kids are in bed, and I'm now sitting here with this sorrow. Sorrow for myself, my family, my close friends, and the people I work with daily. Friends, it is true when they say WE are the Kingdom of Heaven. WE are His hands and feet. When Satan cuts us off, God regenerates us in a way not thought possible.
My human brains tells me that my situation is hopeless, so its better to take the gun to the temple and pull the trigger. That is the best solution to end all this stupid life stuff.
My God tells me He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. He tells me He has not given me a spirit of fear or timidity, but of LOVE and POWER and SELF-DISCIPLINE. He tells me that He loved me so much He gave His only son, and that whoever believes in Him should have ever-lasting life. God tells me that He is my God forever and ever; He will be my guide even unto death. God tells me that sorrow may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her at the dawn of morning.